There’s a big twist coming up on Season 6 of Bachelor in Paradise, and not to parrot host Chris Harrison, but the summer spin-off series premiering on August 5, will be offering viewers something that they’ve truly never seen in franchise history.
According to Reality Steve, when Bachelor Nation alum Demi Burnett, 24, heads to Mexico this summer, she will not be dating any of Hannah Brown‘s ex-suitors, of any of Becca Kufrin’s ex-boyfriends. She’ll be dating a woman named Kristian Haggerty.
While seeing a same-sex couple date on a reality TV series is by no means revolutionary, for ABC’s long running franchise, this is a first, and it will be a huge storyline in Paradise. Now, Haggerty is not a Bachelor Nation alum, but the Florida native was the roommate of Catherine Agro, who like Demi, was a contestant on Colton Underwood‘s cycle of The Bachelor.
Here’s what you need to know about Demi Burnett and Kristian Haggerty’s relationship….
1. Kristian & Demi Have Been Dating Since February
It’s well documented all over social media that Bachelor Nation contestants all hang out together, do paid appearances in groups, and then naturally, certain people form incredibly tight cliques with one another. So, it makes that Demi first met Kristian through her former fellow contestant, Catherine Agro, whom most viewers remember as the first girl who brought her dog on The Bachelor.
They reportedly started dating in February, and while neither have yet to publicly confirm their relationship, Kristian posted a photo on Instagram of two hanging out together in West Hollywood in April.
2. Producers Asked Demi Before Inviting Kristian on ‘Paradise’
Typically, any contestant that shows up in Mexico has already had a shot on love on one of the franchise’s main shows, and while Kristian is a complete stranger to viewers, she was already romantically involved with Demi prior to joining Paradise.
As Reality Steve explained on his blog, “Demi talked about it with producers, she knew Kristian was gonna be brought in after filming had started, and she wanted to use the show as an outlet to come out as bisexual.”
3. Kristian is an Aspiring Model, Comedian & Actress
According to Kristian’s website, after a year working in corporate America, she if finally pursuing her dreams in the entertainment business. A graduate of Stetson College in DeLand, Florida, she started taking improv classes at SAK Comedy in Orlando, and in 2018, moved to Chicago to study at the famed Second City Training Center.
As she looks to cement her role as a performer, Kristian has worked as a production assistant on numerous projects. However, her current job, as listed on her LinkedIn, is working as a sales consultant for LightWork Software.
4. Their Storyline Will Be Huge on ‘Paradise’
It’s incredibly exciting that Bachelor Nation will feature a same-sex couple on their show – better late than never! However, compounding this momentous occasion, the fact that Demi will literally do anything for more camera time. Somehow, she’s appeared more than any other former contestant on Hannah Brown’s current Bachelorette season, and the Texan has her heart set on being the show’s star in Mexico.
She told ET in May, “We’re renaming it Demi-dise if I go. I’m going to run that beach. I gotta be the queen.”
Demi also seemingly dropped a hint that her girlfriend would soon be joining the series. She said, “I think it would be easy to get really involved with someone right away, but then it’s Paradise, and people can come in later, so what if someone comes in later? I just need to keep it open and play the field.”
5. ‘Paradise’ is Breaking All the Rules With Demi & Kristian
Demi’s propensity for the spotlight aside, it’s wonderful to see that the series is making strides to include gay couples on the show. The Bachelor and Bachelorette have long been criticized for being white-washed, ageist and sexist, and this is huge step in the right direction for America’s favorite reality dating show.
So, what if they have to bring on a contestant who’s never appeared on the franchise before? And while it could be construed as fabricated reality, as the couple was already dating prior to the start of filming, it’s actually comforting to know that producers confided with Demi about such plans, and made sure she felt comfortable announcing her bi-sexuality to the world before starting production.
While it’s not in line with the usual rules of Paradise, Kristian and Demi’s relationship being featured on the show is an incredibly exciting development for the series.